Value. Music. Access. Catharsis.
Best to quote Dan Hancox’ The Essential Wiley from last year:
It’s not unreasonable to compare Richard Cowie to Bob Dylan or Miles Davis. It’s not like he’s not churned out a lot of shoddy material, like other legends, but his ability to adapt and find new ways of nuancing his skills is astounding. Wiley’s compulsive about music, and compulsively restless in the way he makes it. His plans change like the weather, he’s constantly unavailable, constantly changing his various mobile numbers: famously he’s like the 38 bus, cos he never turns up. He’s had beefs, fall-outs, and hissyfits galore, been stabbed 14 times, retired at least twice, and never released an album without denouncing it at some point, often before it’s been released. But each time you think he’s too bitter or dejected or exhausted to keep on making music (or at least, to keep on making good music), he hibernates as a ‘studio rat’ and comes back with some fresh wonder. He can’t help himself.
It’s worth noting that the new album The Elusive, was slated for release on a major, Island/Universal, as part of a 4-album deal he signed last winter. (Punk’s not dead!) Wiley is a major force of change, fearless, constantly imagining how things could be Very Different (music industry norms, synth settings, common sense etc) then making his fundamentally ‘other’ vision real.